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Titans set to face No. 1-ranked Deacons

It's not much of a shock that the Dickinson Trinity football team faces an uphill battle in its Class AA state quarterfinal game at Fargo Shanley today.

Binstock blocks for Gordon
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson Trinity junior fullback Clarence Binstock, left, blocks for sophomore quarterback Ben Gordon on Sept. 3 against Beulah. The Titans face unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Fargo Shanley this afternoon in the Class AA state quarterfinals.

It's not much of a shock that the Dickinson Trinity football team faces an uphill battle in its Class AA state quarterfinal game at Fargo Shanley today.

Dickinson Trinity head coach Randy Gordon has said in the past he thinks the Deacons could be one of the best teams in the state -- in any class.

The Titans (5-3) -- the West Region's No. 4 seed -- get their chance to see how they stack up against No. 1-ranked Shanley (9-0) -- the East Region's top seed -- at 1:30 p.m. Mountain time at Sid Cichy Stadium.

"We just need to give ourselves enough of a chance and then have the dice play out," Gordon said.

Shanley beat then-undefeated Trinity 27-23 in the state semifinals last year in Dickinson and went on the win the Class AA state championship -- its first football title since 1983.

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Shanley boasts first-team all-state senior quarterback Myles Montplasir and second-team all-state wide receiver Josh Rodenbiker, with both helping the team blaze through its schedule.

Shanley also has the luxury of having University of Missouri-bound Connor McGovern secure the line on both sides of the ball.

The Deacons have scored at least 49 points per game with the exception of a 23-21 win at Detroit Lakes (Minn.).

Gordon said an upset could come from any number of ways.

"I think we have to maintain them and not let them get on the board right away and attack us," Gordon said.

The best scenario is an early lead, but he'll be happy if Trinity can stay neck-and-neck with the Deacons.

"We can play defense with our offense, too," Gordon said. "If we hold them off and put pressure on them, we'll gain confidence as the game goes on."

Gordon isn't too concerned with how Shanley will come at his team. For him, the matchup is about Trinity's effort.

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"We're going to take our blue-collar attitude and work our tails off," Gordon said. "We know our assignments and alignments. We know what our mission is. We're going to see if we can give them problems right away."

Trinity is finally healthy, with the exception of senior lineman Tim Brooke, whose season is done after suffering two concussions earlier in the year.

Gordon said playing eight regular season games instead of the maximum nine was a blessing for his team this year.

Several players were banged up or out for other reasons. With a little over two weeks to rest up, Gordon said it's the first time this year that almost everyone is feeling fine.

"Our linemen got a bit of a rest, (running back Mason) Schiff is fully recovered now and there were a few others with bumps and bruises," Gordon said.

One returner who was out who can make a big impact in the Titans' passing game is junior tight end Dylan Fridrich. He was held out of Trinity's last regular season game against Bottineau on Oct. 15 with an undisclosed non-football medical condition.

He's been cleared to play and is ready for action.

Fridrich said the time away helped him realize how fragile anyone can be and how great the game of football is.

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"It's motivating to know you're not invincible and things can happen," Fridrich said. "You have to make the time you have to play worthwhile. It makes you put everything into perspective on how lucky you are to play the game."

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
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